Emmett O'Brien tops the poll as €212k is spent on election in Limerick

Local candidates declare expenses on everything from posters and fuel to shoes

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Emmett O'Brien tops the poll as €212k is spent on election in Limerick

Money well spent: Patrick O'Donovan and Tom Neville celebrate their election

CLLR Emmett O’Brien was the highest spending candidate in Limerick during last year’s general election campaign, it has been revealed.

According to documents published by the Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO), the independent candidate spent a total of €28,200.11 which equates to €5.19 for each of the 5,432 first preference votes he received.

According to his Election Expenses Statement (EES), Cllr O’Brien spent €7,766.81 on posters while €9,790.68 was spent on other election material – including fliers.

He incurred expenses totalling €2,675 relating to travel including minibus hire (€1,000), diesel (€700) and the ‘lease of cars’ (€975). 

By law, every candidate who seeks election in a four-seat constituency, can spend a maximum of €37,650 on their campaign while the limit for three-seat constituencies is €30,150.

Each candidate is also required to submit an EES detailing the monies they spent between February 3, 2016 and polling day on February 26, 2016.

According to the documents, only one other candidate – Cllr Richard O’Donoghue –  spent more than €20,000 although a number of candidates allocated part of their allowance for use by their respective political parties.

According to Cllr O’Donoghue’s EES, he spent a total of €13,560.30 on ‘signs, posters and car magnets’ while €2,652.06 was used on ‘diesel for campaign team’ and ‘tyre replacements’.

Of the candidates who were elected, Tom Neville spent the most amount of money.

Election posters accounted for €11,962 of his total spend of  €17,736. Deputy Neville spent €2,992 on other election material and €660 on diesel and stamps.

According to her EES, former minister, Jan O’Sullivan, refunded €174 to the Department of Education and Skills for photocopying and stationary. She also refunded a portion of Cllr Joe Leddin’s salary as he is employed as her parliamentary assistant. 

Elsewhere, Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan spent a total of €13,376.64 including €440 on ‘cable ties’, €230 on ‘lapel stickers’ and €418.21 on ‘Hi Vis vests’.

AAA councillor Cian Prendiville spent €9,301.96 including €964.75 on ‘billboard trailer hire’ and €2,822.80 on 95,000 leaflets and ’DL Cards’.

James Gaffney of the Green party spent €45 on shoes while Sarah Jane Hennelly of the Social Democrats paid €1,050 on ‘office rental’ and €20 on ‘public transport’.

According to SIPO, only two candidates – Nora Bennis and Alexander Storey-Cosgrave stated they did not incur any expenses.

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ELECTION EXPENSES INCURRED BY CANDIDATES IN LIMERICK AND LIMERICK CITY CONSTITUENCIES:

ELECTED CANDIDATES: 

TOM NEVILLE

Advertising: €2,122

Election Posters: €11,962

Other election material: €2,992

Office and stationery: €660

TOTAL: €17,736

PATRICK O’DONOVAN

Advertising: €3,414

Election posters: €6739

Other election material: €6075

Office and stationery: €300

TOTAL: €16,528

NIALL COLLINS

Advertising: €6,150

Election Posters: €7,958

Other Election materials: €1,400

Office and stationery: €1,666.65

TOTAL: €17,174.65

MAURICE QUINLIVAN

Advertising: €2,767.5

Other Election Material: €5301.23

Office and stationery: €37.23

Transport and Travel: €116.79

TOTAL: €11.421.51

 

MICHAEL NOONAN

Advertising: €2,140.68

Election Posters: €7,991

Other Election Material: €2,494.96

Campaign Workers: €750

TOTAL: €13,376.64

JAN O'SULLIVAN

Advertising: €4,842

Election Posters: €5,800

Other Election Material: €2,221

Office and stationery: €1,040

TOTAL: €13,893

 

WILLIE O'DEA

Advertising: €1155.8

Election Posters: €6005.47

Other Election Material: €1386.60

Office and stationery: €710.05

Transport and Travel: €100

TOTAL: €9357.92

 

UNELECTED CANDIDATES

DESMOND HAYES

Total- €1,909.18

 

JAMES HEFFERNAN

Total- €14,693.36

 

SARAH-JANE HENNELLY

Total- €6,125.6

CIAN PRENDIVILLE

Total- €9,301.96

 

RICHARD O'DONOGHUE

Total- €22,598.18

 

KIERAN O'DONNELL

Total- €16,868.56

 

JAMES GAFFNEY

€2,141.73

 

EMMETT O'BRIEN

Total- €28,200.11

 

NORA BENNIS

Total- €NA

 

SEAMUS BROWNE

Total- €10,668.05

 

ALEXANDER STOREY-COSGROVE

Total - €0

 

MARK KEOGH

Total: €80

Information: Standards in Public Office Commission